Reporting from liputan6.com, the Ministry of Agriculture ensures the availability of food due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for the community will continue to be fulfilled. According to the Head of the Agricultural Human Resource Extension and Development Agency (PPSDMP) Ministry of Agriculture Dedi Nursyamsi, currently the things that the community need most are health and food. The industrial sector that is relied on to ensure that the community remains healthy and can be avoided from the risk of Covid-19 transmission is the agricultural sector. In the midst of the many businesses affected by Covid-19, the agricultural sector is a new hope for Indonesia’s economic growth. Moreover, based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors still increased 9.46% in the first quarter of 2020. However, is this industry also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic? What do you think should be prepared to run the agricultural industry as it enters the new normal period? Check out the following explanation!
Impact of Covid-19 on the agricultural industry
Reported by alinea.id, Bayu Krisnamurthi who is a Lecturer in the Department of Agribusiness, Faculty of Economics and Management of Bogor Agricultural University Bayu Krisnamurthi said, that during the pandemic, the agricultural industry would also be affected because consumer demand had decreased. Distribution of food ingredients to hotels and restaurants is hampered. Likewise with catering for parties, meetings and seminars. Not to mention the temporary suspension of projects and factory production.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic did not completely reduce the number of requests. Since this virus was detected in Indonesia in early March, agribusiness practitioners have also seen an increase in sales, especially in online sales through e-commerce. Some agribusiness products are also increasingly sought after by the public because of the high awareness to keep the body fit. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and pharmacy products such as herbs and medicines has increased.
The agricultural industry in the new normal era
Bayu predicts that in the new normal era, online shopping will be a new trend carried out in the agricultural sector. Therefore, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and other agribusiness actors are expected to get used to using the internet so they can compete in this new era. Of course, the role of government is also needed because there are still many villages that have not been connected to internet access.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture has also established three strategies to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The first strategy was used in the most urgent conditions needed to deal with Covid-19. Some of these needs are Bufferstock 11 main food in all provinces in Indonesia and labor intensive.
Meanwhile, the second strategy is used in temporary conditions. In this strategy, the government regulates export activities so that they remain optimal. In addition, this strategy also includes seed and seed assistance plans for farmers who are already registered as Farmer Groups (Poktan) and Farmers Groups (Gapoktan).
Then, the Ministry of Agriculture also prepared a permanent strategy that is long term. This strategy aims to increase production by 7 percent annually, increase exports three-fold, reduce losses by 5 percent, and target millennial agribusinesses by 2.5 million people.
At present, the strategy that has been widely implemented is the first strategy. One of them is the role of the Ministry of Coptic that provides food and counseling to farmers. In addition, the first strategy is also implemented through an invitation to millennial farmers to contribute to the availability of food. This is expected to be a solution to meet the food needs of the Indonesian people.